Associations between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure and oxidative stress in people living near e-waste recycling facilities in China

Shao-You Lu, Yan-Xi Li, Jian-Qing Zhang, Tao Zhang, Gui-Hua Liu, Ming-Zhi Huang, Xiao Li, Ju-Jun Ruan, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Rong-Liang Qiu
Environment International 2016, 94: 161-169
Emission of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from e-waste recycling activities in China is known. However, little is known on the association between PAH exposure and oxidative damage to DNA and lipid content in people living near e-waste dismantling sites. In this study, ten hydroxylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (OH-PAHs) and two biomarkers [8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and malondialdehyde (MDA)] of oxidative stress were investigated in urine samples collected from people living in and around e-waste dismantling facilities, and in reference population from rural and urban areas in China. The urinary levels of ∑10OH-PAHs determined in e-waste recycling area (GM: 25.4μg/g Cre) were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those found in both rural (11.7μg/g Cre) and urban (10.9μg/g Cre) reference areas. The occupationally exposed e-waste workers (36.6μg/g Cre) showed significantly higher (p<0.01) urinary Σ10OH-PAHs concentrations than non-occupationally exposed people (23.2μg/g Cre) living in the e-waste recycling site. The differences in urinary Σ10OH-PAHs levels between smokers (23.4μg/g Cre) and non-smokers (24.7μg/g Cre) were not significant (p>0.05) in e-waste dismantling sites, while these differences were significant (p<0.05) in rural and urban reference areas; this indicated that smoking is not associated with elevated levels of PAH exposure in e-waste dismantling site. Furthermore, we found that urinary concentrations of Σ10OH-PAHs and individual OH-PAHs were significantly associated with elevated 8-OHdG, in samples collected from e-waste dismantling site; the levels of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-PYR) (r=0.284, p<0.01) was significantly positively associated with MDA. Our results indicate that the exposure to PAHs at the e-waste dismantling site may have an effect on oxidative damage to DNA among selected participants, but this needs to be validated in large studies.

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